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Old 08-01-2012, 05:22 PM   #1
jaxn
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I'm a big bourbon guy, and some friends and I recently bought a barrel of Four Roses bourbon. The whiskey is fantastic, and now I've got this 55-gallon barrel just begging me to fill it with something.

I'd like to do a mead. I've done about a dozen or so batches of mead with varying success, so I've got a grasp on most of the basics. Except I've never aged anything in oak, and I'd love to hear from any of you with some input. Any recommendations or advice?

Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:32 PM   #2
TheBrewingMedic
 
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That would be awesome to age an acerglyn in, 75% honey, 25% grade B maple syrup, vanilla beans....I age a similar recipe on oak cubes that I soak in bourbon thats been infused with vanilla beans prior to adding them.
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
Matrix4b
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With such a large volume, I would recomend a Vanilla Mead.

Mmm, with Buckwheat honey.

The whisky flavoring and a bit of the oak will bleed through to the flavor. Whisky is usually out of a medium or heavy toast oak. So you will get some carmelly and possibly smoky notes from this. So think along those lines. Hmm, actually with peach season here a Whisky peach sounds great. Just a bit of vanilla, whisky and in the secondary put in some of the maple syrup. Also some nutmet or cinnamon to spice it up a bit.

That sounds good. But seriously, any mead would be good out of it. Just expect the barrel to give a little of the whisky flavor and a touch of the carmelly smokyness from the oak. Should be good.

Matrix

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:05 PM   #4
knotquiteawake
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxn View Post
some friends and I recently bought a barrel of Four Roses bourbon. The whiskey is fantastic, and now I've got this 55-gallon barrel:
You guys bought a 55 gallon barrel of whiskey?! I wish my friends liked Whiskey that much! How much did that run you?

 
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:31 PM   #5
jaxn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knotquiteawake View Post
You guys bought a 55 gallon barrel of whiskey?! I wish my friends liked Whiskey that much! How much did that run you?
$3,500. It was a steal.

A barrel of Jack Daniel's won't be half as good and will run you about $12,000.

 
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #6
huesmann
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How long did it take you to run through 55 gallons of bourbon?

 
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:44 PM   #7
gratus fermentatio
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55 gallons of mead; that's a serious investment. I'd give some serious thought to a medium show mead, a varietal that goes well with the bourbon flavour. I'm a big fan of orange blossom honey & it would seem that the floral orange blossom flavour would work with the bourbon. I like Matrix's idea of buckwheat honey, but I think I'd use just a little bit (mixed with the orange blossom); just enough to provide a hint of that pseudo-molasses flavour. I've heard buckwheat honey can add a "barnyard" flavour, so I think I'd go light on it. I'm liking the sound of an orange blossom/buckwheat/bourbon mead, aged in the barrel for a year or two.

There was another guy on this forum who did a full barrel of mead, seems like it was a couple years back...
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/110-...barrels-39098/
Not sure if it helps, but BobbyM has actually done a big barrel batch; odds are good he'd have a tip or two.
Regards, GF.

 
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